Ask the experts
My first port of call was to invite the experts in to explain the existing journey and discuss what they believed to be existing problems with the journey.
This allowed me to get a good understanding around the existing journey, the questions being asked of users on the form and what the experts saw as the potential issues.
The outcome of the expert reviews allowed me to write up some key hypothesis that I’d then look to validate through data.
I next set up our screen recording tool to collate anonymous recordings of users filling out the form.
What this allowed us to do, was to collect some qual data around the existing journey, it showed us the current user behaviours and highlighted some key pit falls with the existing designs.
I collated some 5 videos of each of the key pain points with this site and used them to present back to the stakeholders, highlighting the problem and using the videos to on-board the stakeholders into the problems that we’d be looking to solve.
The screen recordings had also allowed me to validate some of the hypothesis’ around the journey – the main one being that users were getting cognitive overload when landing into the form on mobile due to the sheer length of it.
I researched various competitors within the same industry and also looked at similar examples. This enabled me to see best in practice for form design and gain a bench mark for the new designs.
I now had some validated hypothesis, some unvalidated and felt like there was still some more to uncover. With this, I decided to run some guided usability testing on the existing journey with a panel of our users.
This would allow me to validate some more hypothesis around the issues with the journey (e.g. lack of contextual help) and hopefully tease out any last few problems we could spot.
I made sure to invite all stakeholders to watch the usability testing from an adjacent room to help further on-board them around the issues and need to fix the journey.
Future state Elaboration
To start defining the vision for the future state customer experience, each stakeholder was asked to describe their ideal journey in relation to a chosen persona.
This got everyone thinking about the people and processes needed to enable the ideal user experience. It also opened up the discussions on the systems, platforms & processes potentially needed to enable that user experience.
This also enable me to collaboratively prioritise the order of delivery with the stakeholders and agree a statement of work.
Once we’d mapped out the ideal journeys, I ran a quick crazy 8 workshop to ideate on the initial ideas for the first stages of the statement of work and to agree on a few potential ways forward for the first stages
The wireframes & usability testing
I now had a list of all the required user inputs for the form, validated hypothesis around the problems, a plan of action for the loans service and some initial sketches with an agreed way forward.
I took these sketches and created some wireframes from them, which I then took into usability testing to validate some of the assumptions we’d made whilst doing the sketches and future state discussions.
This also enabled us to start gathering further data to back up the design direction.
I usability tested 3 variants and tracked three key metrics across them all, these metrics were effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction.
This helped me have some solid data to back up my design decisions and allow me to explain to the stakeholders why one of the designs was better than any of the others in a compelling data backed way.